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Palmer Plans for Development of Route 33 Interchange

Palmer Township has set a public hearing for April 2 on establishing a Neighborhood Improvement District around the Route 33 interchange.

 

On Monday night, the voted to approve  a public hearing for April 2 to discuss the creation of a Neighborhood Improvement District and governing board, which officials hope will ensure that the right financial decisions around the proposed are made.

The proposed interchange at Tatamy Road will feature multiple lanes and make the roads more accesible to residents in Palmer, Forks, Nazareth and Upper Nazareth.

The interchange is surrounded by 689 undeveloped acres -- all owned by . And with thousands of cars using Route 33 and Tatamy Road, it creates a tremendous opportunity for growth.

But any proposed projects must go through for approval, and township officials want to set up a seven-member Neighborhood Improvement District Board to help make financial decisions. Those decisions would include managing bond payments after a tax-deferrment program known as TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) expires after three years.

The Easton Area School Board and Northampton County also support the TIF plan under which the school board, counties and municipalities agree to forgo tax revenue in the short term to get increased revenue later.

Supervisor Chairman David Colver said Chrin will have "to pony up" for all costs outside the $33 million for the interchange.

For that reason, "it behooves Chrin to sell the land and develop it," Colver said.

Development would mean more tax revenue for the township and more jobs and more customers for local businesses.

Colver doesn't believe that any development of commercial and industrial properties will take place in the first three years of the interchange's completion, but that would be a bonus if it happens.

The April 2 meeting will take place in the library meeting room. It will be the first of three public hearings.

Carolyn May 01, 2012 at 08:29 PM
The surrounding roads are all in need of renovation. Try crawling through Stockertown around 5:30 to get onto Rte 33! What a mess. The railroad crossing on Rte 115 just north of the Uhler Road/Main Street crossing needs fixed. The Main Street bridge over the Bushkill Creek in Tatamy has been closed way too long. Main Street in Tatamy is a residential street and the edges are crumbling now with just car traffic. It would rapidly deteriorate with increased truck traffic. And there would be increased traffic - believe it. Trucks coming from the Forks Industrial park will find it so much easier to go straight on Uhler Road to Main Street to Tatamy Road (all the same road) to the new interchange instead of making the sharp turn onto Rte 115 north and snaking through Stockertown Borough and the traffic backups. Also there is the additional concerns about the sinkholes between Tatamy and Stockertown. The road is closed and never reopened after the last sinkhole there. The area is known for sinkholes. Anyone who got bounced in their cars when driving north on Rte 33 will remember the sagging bridges and the long repairs - twice (or was it three times?). Do I think the new interchange is a good idea? Yes, I do. I'm just saying there is a whole lot more to it than just another clover-leaf.

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